Rob Astorino is campaigning across New York State to introduce himself to the voters. In Syracuse he chose city hall has a backdrop. The Westchester County Executive is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for Governor.
Astorino is highlighting his campaign with a simple question which he repeated at this news conference Friday afternoon. "Is New York winning or is New York losing? Because if New York is winning then Andrew Cuomo is your guy. But if New York is losing and I strongly believe under Governor Cuomo it is losing, then we need to change course and I would be your guy." Astorino says.
He cites a number of reasons why he thinks New York is losing:
--The state lost 300-thousand people in the last three years
--It is losing jobs to other states
--New York is plagued by official corruption
--It is the least business friendly state
--It is the highest taxed state.
Astorino blasted Governor Cuomo for not doing enough to reduce unfunded mandates like Medicaid which take up the bulk of county property taxes.
On other issues:
--Astorino supports natural gas exploration
--called Cuomo's "Start Up New York" program to attract business a "gimmick"
--would repeal the New York SAFE Act.
"I don't think it does anything to make us safer. All it did was demonize law abiding gun owners." Astorino explained.
About a dozen demonstrators showed up at Astorino's appearance.